So far in the planning phase for my final project I have discussed the project scope and rationale. Here is a quick summary of the project as I have it planned to date:
Final Vision Project Contents Overview
|Project Title||Digital Citizenship Program|
|Rationale||We live in an increasingly technological world where we are spending more and more time online interacting with each other, sharing, creating, learning, communicating, shopping, and accessing information. Young Canadians need help to become better digital citizens of this digital world by exploring technology and taking risks in a safe environment to learn about issues such as online privacy, safety, ethical relationships, appropriate use of technology, cyber bullying, evaluating information, decoding online advertising, etc.|
|Target Audience||A class of grade 8 students at the secondary level who will pilot the program with the teacher-librarian, and provide feedback for the possibility of extension to rest of grade 8’s next year|
|Unit Time Constraints||Five sessions, one hour each in the library computer lab|
|Format of Delivery||Teacher-Librarian lead workshops on digital citizenship with introduction PowerPoint or hook activity, pre-activity class discussion of topic & individual brainstorm, online interactive modules, summary discussion & individual feedback (journal reflection or anonymous online survey)|
|Project Scope||1. Introduction– Digital Citizenship intro, My Technology Inventory, vote on modules, baseline survey
2. Interactive Module 1: Instant Pigeon (online chatting simulation, ethical relationships, stranger contact, cyber bullying)
3. Interactive Module 2: MyFace (mock Facebook profile, privacy management, social media audit)
4. Interactive Module 3: Co-Co’s Choco Match (decoding online advertising)
5. Conclusion– summary, reflection, & feedback survey (to improve program for next year)
|Resources & Technology||Library computer lab, projector & speakers, Microsoft PowerPoint & Word (teacher materials & student handouts), Learn Now BC student accounts (access point to School District subscriptions & resources), Passport to the Internet (paid license program through School District No 58 to Media Smart`s Internet Literacy Program grades 4-8), headphones for interactive modules, printer (to print passport as students complete each module), Fluid Survey account (tool to create online anonymous surveys to gather feedback), Digital Citizenship student journals to keep unit materials & reflections over several weeks|
|Final Vision Project Submission||Lesson plans for a digital citizenship pilot program with learning objectives, student handouts, introduction PowerPoint, & online survey questions. These materials are intended for other librarians, grade 8 teachers, LIBE 477 instructor, and my school administrator (as part of my 5 year growth plan)|
What struggles and challenges have you run into so far, and what do you anticipate having to face still?
So far my struggles have been centered on technology and time constraints. The first hurdle was finding resources for a digital citizenship program. It would be very boring for the grade 8s to sit and listen to me lecture about online safety. In my reading review (blog post 2) I found lots of free and paid resources to teach digital citizenship; however, digital citizenship is a huge umbrella term that covers a lot of possible topics. Narrowing down what to use and what to cover was a huge challenge. With so many options, I felt paralyzed with indecision. I did some digging to see what resources my school district already has. I was pleased to discover that we pay for licensed access to MediaSmart`s Passport to the Internet, an online resource for grades 4 to 8 that teaches digital literacy through a series of interactive games and videos that simulate difference online environments to present students with challenges and test their digital literacy skills. To access all of our school district resources, including Passport to the Internet, students need accounts in Learn Now BC. I approached the grade 8 team to find a volunteer teacher and class to pilot this program. Then, using the class list I set up accounts one by one in Learn Now BC following the instructions for usernames and passwords from my District Technology Coordinator. I had two students who were new to the school, so I had to access Learn Now BC`s help line to sort out their accounts using birthdays, school district emails, and student numbers (information which I got from our school secretary). I had my library teacher assistants help me to make a digital citizenship journal for each student with their username and password recorded on the inside cover.
Once I had the access issue solved, I went into my library computer lab to test out the program for myself. I discovered that the graphics would not load in Explorer and Mozilla. After some troubleshooting, I was able to get the program to run in Chrome, which seemed to be the most up to date of my internet browsers in the computer lab. I went through all 5 modules (each take about 45 minutes) making note of any possible roadblocks that students will face, such as how to navigate the program, creating usernames for Passport to the Internet (yet another access point), selecting the avatar, making sure to select the senior student level (not junior), and making sure to fully complete the module to get a stamp in their passport that they can print for their Digital Citizenship journal. If students do not use the same username (case sensitive) each time they log in to Passport to the Internet, then they will lose their work. I will have students use the same usernames as their Learn Now BC accounts. If they exit the program before completion or select the junior level, they will have to start over! I will be sure to demonstrate how to log in and continue through to completion.
I also realized that students will need headphones to hear the audio. Upon inspection of my class set of library headsets, I found that only about half are working. I will overcome this hurdle by having students bring their own headphones. I will need to look at ordering a few extras for next year. I also had my library teacher assistants test out the headphone jacks for all 26 computers in the Library lab. They found two computers/jacks that were broken, so I put in a work order to have those computers repaired. The pilot class has about 30 students, so I will have to sign out a few extra laptops from the library cart to make a full computer lab for each session.
Furthermore, I want to do a social media audit activity with the students where they leave the safe environment of the online simulated modules, and check their actual privacy settings in their own accounts. However, some programs, like Facebook for example, are blocked by the proxy server in the school, so I put in a work order to allow access in my lab.
The final and biggest technology roadblock so far was the online surveys that I have planned to use at the beginning and end of the program to gather data and feedback on the program. I have used Fluid Surveys in the past to survey the entire school on their Silent Reading habits, so I decided to use the same program for my Digital Citizenship Survey. The survey was easy to create since I already had an account with Fluid Surveys and knew the program. I posted the survey link on my school and library webpages and started collecting results. However, when I went to create a report of the results and export the data, I was not able to export. I did some troubleshooting on their website and discovered that free accounts need to be upgrade to a paid subscriptions in order to export data reports. I remembered having to do this last year for my Silent Reading project. I checked my receipts from last year`s library budget and saw that I was able to upgrade to a monthly account ($30) for one month to export the results and then return to a free subscription. However, when I went to do this again this year, I was directed to a yearly subscription for close to $300! I clicked on the monthly plan options at the bottom of the screen, which took me to their partner company, Survey Monkey. I clicked on the button that said upgrade your account and entered my library credit card details for a monthly account. This was definitely a mistake because when I went to export my data, it still would not let me! I immediately tried to look up the help line, but phone support is not available to monthly account holders. I found an email address on the website and emailed for help. Fluid Surveys told me they have cancelled their monthly account service and partnered with Survey Monkey to provide this service, however, I would have to re-create the survey in my Survey Monkey account or pay for a whole year with Fluid Surveys! I contacted Survey Monkey to export the survey results to their monthly service (not possible) and/or get a refund (also not possible). I was advised that my only option was to re-enter all 43 students’ results for all of the survey questions by hand into Survey Monkey- crazy! I was very frustrated! In the end I had to suck up the $30 mistake.
For last week`s LIBE 477 post (Blog Post 2: Project Rationale), I shared the initial survey results. I had to type out the results into Word instead of exporting the nice colour bar graphs and summary tables. However, when I created the bullet list of the results in Word Press, it cut off the first two digits of my data, so a stat such as “53.4% (23) of grade 8 students surveyed are online more than 21 hours per week” was published as only 4%! I did not realize this mistake until this morning. Needless to say the survey issue has been a bit of headache- especially for something that when done properly can be so easy! Lesson learned- next time I will use Survey Monkey to build my survey and save myself a lot of time and money!
While I hope that this is the end of the technology roadblocks, I do have my second session with the grade 8s when I get back from Spring Break and I anticipate some internet, computer, or log in issues- resiliency! To solve the problem of time constraints (the volunteer teacher could only give me 5 hours of class time), I had the students vote on the 3 modules that they would like to do. As this is only a pilot program, there is lots of room to expand this project to more topics, resources, activities, and more students in the future!
Wish me luck:)